I had dinner tonight with my fellow International Festival cooking demonstration planners, Deniz and Amanda. They were kind enough to join me for dinner at Dalat Vietnamese restaurant in Raleigh, in keeping with my month’s theme. Dalat has a huge 8-page menu full of interesting options, but I chose to try their Banh Xeo (Vietnamese crepe) to compare with my first attempt at this dish. Although the filling was similar to what I had prepared last week, the crepe itself was very different. This crepe was thin and crispy, though the batter was a little thicker right in the middle. It was served with lettuce, cilantro and nuoc cham sauce, and very delicious. I have read sources which attribute Banh Xeo to South Indian influences rather than French, and the consistency of this crepe was much more similar to the South Indian dosa.
After returning home, I realized that I needed to cook some lunch for tomorrow. I had previously identified a quick tofu recipe that looked interesting, called black pepper tofu. The tofu was sauteed with oyster sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce and broth and seasoned HEAVILY with black pepper. I also cooked up some rice green peas as a side, to which I added lemongrass for a slight Vietnamese flavor.